Friday, October 26, 2007

Sandbags for Maximal Strength?

It seems one of the biggest questions I receive is in regards to the weight of our sandbags. The first thing I tell everyone is "don't worry about it". Why? You can't relate sandbag weight to barbells, dumbbell, cables, or kettlebells. They are the most unique feeling implement. You have to actually get your hands on them to figure out what is most appropriate for you. Not only is it unique, but the feeling of a bag can change dramtically depending on what drill you are performing as well.

This means sandbags can be a challenge to perform traditional maximal strength work with. Typically maximal strength work requires very specific calculations to one's maximal effort. Unfortunately, sandbags aren't so simple. Because they move, are not easy to incrementally load, and bags can vary, you can't apply the same maximal strength work that you might to barbells and dumbbells.

However, this doesn't mean you can't get really strong using them. We can actually borrow some methods from the kettlebell world to apply to sandbags. Since both can be somewhat limited by their ability to change load we can see similiarties in programming. One of my favorities is ladder programs. By using a ladder you can train maximal strength without changing load. Here is a sample workout:

1 repetition: Zercher Squat
1 repetition: Power Snatch
1 repetition: Pull-up
1 repetition: Shoulder Get-up
Repeat for 2 repetitions, 3, 4, up to 5 repetitions. Rest for 2-3 minutes and then repeat the cycle with about 30 seconds to one minute in between the drills. You build volume and intensity. Once you can get through this cycle 3 times you can try adding a little weight to your bag!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sandbag Half Moon Snatch

The Half Moon Snatch is one of the most fundamental exercises for combative athletes. It trains the powerful throwing and take down muscles of the hips and trunk. The Half Moon Snatch also teaches the important component of shifting bodyweight appropriately to be balanced, stable, and more powerful. This drill can also be beneficial for anyone that wants to improve rotational strength such as golfers, baseball players, and tennis players.

Sandbag Over the Shoulder Throw

Excerpt from the new E-book, KNOCKOUT!!

Sandbag Split Clean

The split clean is a classic Olympic lifting variation that has been lost over the years. It is a drill that challenges not only one's power, but stability and balance as well. Because the movement is explosive the lifter does not have time to find a groove of the lift. They must react and this makes such a lift far more appropriate for athletes that need dynamic flexibility, power, and stability.

Sandbag Around the World

This is drill helps promote mobility of the trunk and shoulders. It can be performed as a warm-up drill or actually part of one's core training. Because of the rotational components it challenges the body's trunk to stabilize against an ever changing load. Great for fighters, wrestlers, and anyone who needs functional core stability.

Sandbag Platform Loading